Last week, the UC San Diego baseball team took on UC Irvine for a four-game road series. In the first three games of the series, the Tritons were swept, losing 4–0, 11–1, and 9–3, respectively. With the losses, UCSD extends their losing streak to five and drops their overall record to 7–16.
The first matchup began quietly, as both teams were kept scoreless for 5.5 innings. Until the bottom of the sixth, senior right-hander Cameron Leonard, the UCSD starting pitcher, had allowed just two hits and no walks. However, in the sixth, UC Irvine began to pull ahead. The Anteaters got four hits, which they converted into two runs; they added on another run each in the seventh and in the eighth. While the Anteaters rumbled ahead, the Triton offense was not able to keep up. A double to left-center by freshman center-fielder Brock Kleszcz in the eighth inning was UCSD’s last chance at a comeback. But, like all the other Tritons who managed to get on base, Klesczcz was left stranded. The team only managed four hits and ended scoreless, losing the game 4–0.
Unlike the first game, UC Irvine piled on the runs early in the second matchup of the series. The Anteaters recorded six hits and six runs against senior right-hander Noah Conlon. Conlon racked up a pitch count of 53 after just 1.2 innings on the mound and was pulled after the fiasco of an outing. The Tritons were spared another shutout by an RBI single from redshirt senior third-baseman Blake Baumgartner in the sixth inning. Unfortunately for UCSD, that run would be their first and only score of the game. UC Irvine piled on the hurt, scoring four more runs in the seventh and final inning. The final score was 11–1, the most lopsided loss the Tritons have faced this season.
The third outing of the series was much of the same, but the Tritons did put out a more competitive performance. Though UC Irvine got ahead early with two runs in the second inning, UCSD was able to fight back. The Tritons scored 3 runs in the fourth and were able to take the lead, their first lead of the entire series. Those three runs came off of a 2-RBI homer from junior second-baseman Michael Fuhrman and a RBI groundout from redshirt junior catcher Paul Gozzo. This burst of offense from UCSD would only last one inning, however. UCSD mustered only two more hits for the rest of the game, which did not translate to any more runs for the Tritons. UC Irvine, on the other hand, knocked back 7 more runs, four in the seventh and three in the eighth. UCSD would go on to lose the game, 9–3.
After the Irvine series, the Tritons have a four-game home series beginning April 16 against conference rival UC Santa Barbara. UCSB, who is 21–8 on the season overall, will pose a tough opponent for the Tritons as they hope to end their downward skid.
Photo courtesy of Mike McGinnis / UC San Diego Athletics